Families can be quick to try to avoid the “A” word in addiction treatment: abstinence. Abstinence from any and all mind altering substances can be overwhelming for someone in the grips of addiction. When that addiction is as insidious as opioid addiction, the idea of living without any mind altering substance is severe. It is the withdrawal period from opioids in which cravings are highest for other substances, especially more opioids, that many people relapse. Despite the ongoing negative consequences and threat to their livelihood, taking more drugs is preferable over enduring the detox. As a result, many doctors in the community are looking for alternative treatments to opioid addiction including medication assisted treatment and the use of marijuana. Marijuana is legalized throughout the country because of its medicinal qualities which has gained scientific renown. Simultaneously, marijuana use disorder has been adopted into what is considered the bible of mental health, The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders. Substance use disorders is the category given to various addiction types, meaning it has been determined that it is possible to develop a chemical dependence upon marijuana.

Is It Contradictory To Use A Drug For Drug Treatment?

Whether or not you believe it is contradictory to use a drug for drug treatment depends on what you consider to be the definition of “recovery” or “sobriety”. Some people are capable of normally using other substances besides their substance of choice. Most people, however, are not. Likewise, some people find that using a drug like marijuana to support the stopping of opioid abuse is harmless, comparatively. Marijuana use would be medicinal and regulated through a physician whereas other forms of substance abuse are just substance abuse. Total abstinence for some means any and all mind altering substances which can be addictive. Since the crisis of opioid overdose is so great, a large number of professionals feel that the use of marijuana to save the lives of people addicted to opioids is a fair trade.

What Is The Answer?

Currently, there is no answer. An overdose death has never been reported as due to marijuana, yet tens of thousands are reported for opioids. For those who have a highly addictive brain, getting high on marijuana could be counterproductive and lead to cravings for a stronger high. For others, the treatment will be sufficient. There are no standards or mandates in addiction treatment because treating addiction is a matter of personalization. Choosing to turn to chemical substances for treatment or taking traditional routes of abstinence will be up to you and your family.

To make decisions about what treatment options are right for you and your family, Hired Power is here to help. From intervention to post-treatment monitoring services, our family is here to support yours through recovery. For more information, call us today at 800-910-9299.